Recently I’ve really struggled to read a book from cover to cover, taking a number of runs at a number of books without being able to keep enough time free that I was able to read through without having to take progress-inhibiting breaks. Summer is one of the few times I’m often able to take a day or two here and there for myself and actually get through books, a trend I fully plan on keeping up this summer. There are a couple of books I’m really itching to get into, and a few more than I’d like to take the time to recommend. I’ve recently discovered Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra, writer of The Private Life of Trees and Bonsai, both of which seem like excellent reads. They’re both quite short as well, so well suited by my abysmal reading behaviours – I’m looking very much forward to getting into them, as soon as I manage to track copies down. I’ve also been meaning to get into David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas for ages now – actually since last summer when my colleague at the Facing Page gave it his (weighty) recommendation. This one is a little longer, so I’ll need to find time for a proper holiday to hold any hope of getting through it, but from all I’ve heard it should be a great read. I had the brainwave of giving it to my mother for her birthday, and knowing her tenancy to give exceptional synopses of each book she reads I’ll get a full teaser of it before I get at it. I’d also very much like to peruse Jonathan Wilson’s (the very same who features on the Guardian’s Football Weekly and write for the Blizzard) explanation of footballing tactics through the ages in Inverting the Pyramid. If this wasn’t enough, I’ve also had a friend deliver the the first three books from the Game of Thrones series with the order to get into them as soon as possible before the series passes me by – and if they’re anything like the series, this should be an absorbing read.
For those of you looking to put together a summer reading list of your own (I’d of course recommend adding each of the aforementioned books to it, even if I can’t vouch for them myself just yet) there are a couple of books I’ve managed to finish I would hope you’d consider. First is another David Mitchell story, the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, an absorbing piece following the love of a Dutch trader’s love for a Japanese midwife. Secondly would be Ian McEwan’s Saturday, the story of a day in the life of a neurosurgeon (much more interesting than that may sound at first glance). Last is a long standing favorite of mine, Herman Hess’s Siddhartha – this is one of the few books I’ve always seemed to be able to find time for and as a result have read through it quite a number of times, finding new and interesting tid-bits each time. It’s the story of the spiritual journey of an Indian man, Siddhartha, during the time of Buddha, definitely one of my all time favorite stories.
Amazon should put ordering any of these right at your fingertips, as should your local bookstores (try Pulp Fiction in Vancouver or Russel’s Books in Victoria).